Content Warning!

This blog on occasion addresses depression, death, suicide and other sensitive themes. Continue at your own discretion in reading the content.

Monday, April 11, 2022

When Darkness Walks with You

I have been on a rollercoaster of thoughts this past week which is no real surprise as my brain never really quiets down. I was subjected to another video at work about stress and trauma. I'm waiting for the video on depression and suicide to show up next. The video was 20 minutes long and the story told was one I've heard plenty of times.

The only part that resonated with me was about legacy giving. They mentioned in the video to do good work for another continues their legacy. I have heard of this as thoughtful giving too. This part in the video made me automatically think of my friend Sean who I honor every year since his passing.  In recent years, I have made an effort to acknowledge him when his death date rolls around. I donate or create something and pass it on.  I never knew what I was doing had an actual name, it was just me honoring him in my own way.

Another part of the video talked about making a gratitude list each day. I have read about it and tried it but was horrible at actually doing it. It was a struggle for me to think of things, even though I only needed three. In the work video, getting up out of bed was something they put on the gratitude list. I don't know about any of you but that felt like a cheat. It would rank right next to making brownies. Is brushing your teeth something to put on a gratitude list? I feel if you are going to do a gratitude list the items should be a little more substantial. They should move you, impact you on some level but that's just me. Perhaps, I am being too critical. 

As the week has gone on, thoughts have come and gone about my life with dysthymia. It's a dark place but there is light. I am a slice of Swiss cheese. There are holes where the light shines through. The beams of light that shine into the darkness give me brief moments of joy when they hit me just right. They are rare and depending on the size of the hole determines how long the joy might last.

There are so many ways I could describe my dysthymia. I can tell you what it's like but no description I give ever seems to be enough because there are so many ways to describe it. None of the descriptions I give are wrong, each and every one of them is accurate. 

My dysthymia is the passenger in the car I drive, it's the ship I sail into port, it's a boat that looks for the safety of a lighthouse, it's the train I ride, it's an entity all on its own, it's a darkened forest, a pit, a void, it's soggy, heavy coat I take off...I could go on. There are plenty of metaphors to describe it.

I started rewatching the TV show 'Dexter'. He mentions the dark passenger. It got me thinking that the passenger is always there. My dysthymia is always there. Sometimes it's prominent, it purposely lets me know it's there and other times I'm able to shoo it away for a bit of time.

When I was standing in my kitchen today, I felt like I wasn't alone, that someone was standing with me. There was no one else around and I realized what I was sensing was my dark companion. If anyone were to see me, they'd see only me and yet I was not by myself.  I have no idea if there is a term for this experience. It's certainly not the first time this has happened to me I am aware of the part of me that hides behind the mask of daily life. I know how to put on a smile and be chipper and fake it for the world when my internal world is heavy and dark. You don't know what's going on because I don't let you see it.

We all hide in some way and after listening to two of my favorite podcasts today (Hawk vs. Wolf and The Nine Club with Chris Roberts), watching some amazing new Jonny Giger clips and catching up on Battle at the Berrics 12 games of skate, the dark passenger left me alone.  Taking in everything I listened to and watched, I realized that I simply need to continue with my writing, keep sending out cards to my friends, to no longer hide the things I enjoy because the rest of the world thinks it's lame. I need to give myself permission to be - me. I realized too that just because Sean passed away in November, it doesn't mean I can't honor him during other times of the year. I can honor his legacy any time I want.

Be well everyone and enjoy the special treat today of two songs today. I hadn't heard either song until today so enjoy Daughtry's "Heavy Is The Crown" and Linkin Park "Breaking The Habit."

Rock on!


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